Mobility insights drive growth for a leading railway operator

Case Studies Mobility Transportation Planning

Mobility insights drive growth for a leading railway operator

Deutsche Bahn (DB) is one of the largest railway operators and infrastructure owners in Europe. Understanding mobility trends is at the heart of DB’s ability to match services across its vast network with current travel demand.

Previously, DB modelled demand based on information from its own ticket sales. This model did not account for empirical origin to destination travel data outside its network, such as road, air and other regional rail travel. In partnership with Teralytics, DB is now able to incorporate information about overall mobility trends across Germany into their planning process.

Having a complete picture of travel demand at its fingertips has enabled DB to forecast a significant growth of passenger miles and revenue when expanding the long-distance network to more rural areas, compared to traditional forecasting models.

Such mobility insights are taken into account in a wide range of planning and operational decisions:

First mile/last mile connectivity

Precise understanding of travel origins and destinations informs decisions around transport links to and from train stations. DB is able to:

  • Identify opportunities to attract customers from other modes of transport
  • Improve station accessibility
Timetable optimisation

Better knowledge of travel demand and market share improves DB’s timetable planning, as it can now:

  • Adjust operations to fluctuations in daily, weekly and seasonal travel demand
  • Meet peak demand during special events seamlessly
Capacity/route optimisation

Better knowledge of travel demand across modes of transport, particularly road traffic, informs ways to improve the supply of rail services. With the right insights at hand, DB can:

  • Understand which origin-destination pairs can benefit the most from direct services
  • Understand where to add or reduce capacity
Meeting COVID-19 challenges

Evaluating current changes in travel behaviours helps DB to understand which new behaviours are likely here to stay. In particular, up-to-date understanding of mobility trends enables DB to:

  • Understand ways to encourage travel by rail post pandemic
  • Understand overall changes in demand

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